At the beginning of April Damian returned to California. We had been apart for a few weeks, and they had been some of the best weeks I’d had in years. But when I picked him up from LAX, in that 2 hour ride it took to get back to Santa Barbara, almost all of my anxiety returned. It was shocking. To both of us, since he was having the exact same experience.
That’s the moment we realized that our relationship was part of the problem. Right there, it was clear. And as we talked we began to understand that so many of those issues that we had thought were “my stuff” or “his stuff” were actually . . . our stuff. And so we immediately started to work on that.
By the time we left SB I had been really, truly, actually happy and confident for almost 3 weeks. And I was determined to bring it back with me to p-town.
We settled back into our life. It was a strange adjustment, because I remember the first time I fell in love with Portland and how it was so instantaneous and effortless. This time, it took a bit of trying.
But, there was this one day.
It was a Sunday. I got up early with Waits to let Damian sleep. We drove up to the the Mississippi district, to drop off some brownies I’d made for the World-Wide Vegan Bake Sale that would be happening that afternoon. It was a gorgeous morning, uncharacteristically warm.
Back home later on, Damian and I decided to grab some lunch at one of the food carts near the bake sale. On our way, my mama friend Jo texted to tell us she was also heading over. Our two families met up at the sale, grabbed our goodies, grabbed some lunch from Native Bowl, and couldn’t find a place to sit. So we google-mapped a nearby park and set off walking.
Discovering awesome new Portland neighborhoods is one of my greatest joys. And this one is especially good, with amazing homes and backyard scrap art tree houses and all the tulips and cherry trees in full bloom. The kids played at the park while us grown-ups talked and ate. It was a casual, friendly, unrehearsed and totally delightful little picnic. Just the sort of thing I thought I’d left behind in SB – that easy, comfortable kind of friendship.
I really think that Portland on a hot, sunny day, is just the greatest place on earth. Just the absolute greatest.
And I really do.
At the very end of April I had my first visit with my Naturopath. I wept as she took my history – as I told her my story. Naturopathy is like medicine and therapy all rolled into one. I love it.
I left that first appointment with an order for massive amounts of blood tests and a purse full of herbal tinctures, homeopathic solutions, a bottle of castor oil, and a prescription to eat specific seeds on a lunar cycle. It was crunchier than crunchy could be, and I had to laugh at myself. But I was so desperate and so hopeless that I was willing to try anything (and thank god for that, as I eventually learned).
I was filled with hope. And overall April was like that. It was a beautiful homecoming and a beautiful new beginning. It was the start of my ascent.
May coming soon . . .
. . . oh but also, Waits loves you! (refresh your browser if you can’t see the video)